The Equal Future

The Fight to Break Gender Roles and Sexism

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How do you feel about gender roles?

How do you feel about sexism?

What Is Our Mission?

  • Young boys are raised to believe that men are supposed to be tough and aggressive. They're taught not to cry and to "be a man." Young girls are taught to be gentle and proper. They're told not to get dirty and to always be sweet. We want to break that stereotype. We want to show that it's okay for a boy to cry because they have emotions too. We want to show that girls can play football and stand up for themselves. We want to show that just because a boy plays with barbies doesn't mean he's "girly." We want to show that girls can be interested in cars and do "man's work." We want to show that it's possible to defy stereotypes. We want to let people know that it's okay to let "gender roles" merge.

  • In today's society, men are paid more than a woman for doing the same job. Men take more jobs in politics because they're known to be "the better gender." Our society believes men are more superior than woman. We want to break that rule. We want to prove that woman can do just as much as a man can. A woman is no less than a man for simply just being a woman. They are just as capable of doing everything a man can do. We want to end what is known as "sexism."

History of Gender Roles

  • In the hunter gatherer society, men went to hunt for food while women stayed home to take care of the children and wait for their husbands to return. The women would cook and gather the food. Men were known to be strong so they could go out and do the dirtier work while the women did the easy work of staying at home.
  • Even in the eighteenth century, women were still expected to stay at home and care for the children while the men worked. If the women did work, their pay was usually low and their jobs required few skills and responsibilities.
  • 100 years later in the nineteenth century, this was still happening. Women could still get jobs but some were expected to quit their jobs after getting married. If they did work they had jobs such as teaching, textile work, clerks, typists, and shop assistants; jobs that men wouldn't have pursued.
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History of Sexism

Sexism can be defined as prejudice or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. In today's society, as well as past societies, women are still seen as the "weaker gender."


  • Education for girls had been secondary to that of boys. In colonial times, girls couldn't attend the better school unless there was enough room. They had to be taught at a lesser school than the boys. By the end of the nineteenth century, education for women had greatly increased. Colleges just for women were formed and the admission of women students increased in colleges and universities. By 1900, more than one-third of students were women. At the beginning of the 20th century, women received 19% of all undergraduate college degrees. By 1984, that number increased to 49%. In 1985 about 53% of all college students were women.


  • In colonial times, women typically took jobs such as seamstresses or factory workers. By the 19th and 20th centuries, medical work was now suitable for women. However, women who had to stay home and raise children had a hard time entering this profession. Also, most of all nurses in hospitals were men. Women were also kept from attending "men's" medical colleges. By the 1910's, women were attending many leading schools and in 1915 the American Medical Association began to admit women members. In 1930 only about 2% of women were lawyers. This number jumped to 22% in 1989. In 1930, there were almost no women engineers. In 1989, this number became only 7.5%. However, in the 1980's more than twice as many women worked as teachers than men. In higher education, however, women only held about one-third of these jobs. During WWII, almost 33,000 women served in the Army and the Navy. However, they had jobs such as secretaries, typists, and nurses. Women in 1970 were paid 45% less than a man for working the same job. In 1988, this number dropped to about 32%.


  • The first meeting for women's rights was in 1848. However, women didn't get the right to vote until 1920. In 1917, there was the first woman in the House of Representatives. That's a long time considering our government was set up in 1787. The first woman into the senate was in 1933. The first woman governor in the U.S. was elected in 1925. The first woman on the Supreme Court was appointed in 1981.

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Gender Roles Today

Today, we have different ideas. Both men and women are capable of pursuing any job they dream of. There are no rules about what each can and can't do. However, gender roles are still around. If a women wants to become an engineer, it may still be looked down upon. But at the same time, if a man stays home to take care of their children, that may be looked down upon too. Luckily, however; both men and women can work if they choose too. In fact, in some households, the woman takes home the better income. Also, only 31% of households have the mother stay at him while the father works compared to 70% in 1960. However, at the same time, 51% of Americans who were surveyed say that children are better off if the woman were to stay at home.

Sexism Today

Feminism can be described as the social, political, and economic equality of women's rights compared to men.

Feminism is still around today. And it is HUGE. Big celebrities are always talking about it. Celebrities such as Emma Watson, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and even John Legend have announced themselves to being feminists. So what steps are being taken to increase awareness?

  • Google is helping bring awareness by creating a "Made with Code"program to encourage young girls to engage in computer science.
  • We've all heard the name Malala Yousafzai. She was almost killed for attending school in Pakistan. She's fighting for equal education for girls in the UN and across the world. She is also the youngest recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Emma Watson has created a campaign known as "HeForShe." She's calling men to help women reach equality. Over 100,000 men have stepped up. This is a spectacular movement for men to step up and help women fight for equality.
  • Facebook, Apple, and Citibank want to equalize men's and women's positions at work. They're providing coverage for "egg freezing." This helps women have more control around childbearing. This can help woman focus on their careers.
  • Brands such as Covergirl, Always, Under Armour and Gilette have created commercials about how women are depicted in the media. They show girls defying stereotypes and being strong and powerful. They show women empowerment.
  • The "ItsOnUs" campaign is bringing awareness to sexual assault. We hear stories all the time of college girls getting raped and nothing being done. This campaign is showing the need for better campus and university policies. California has already dropped a law to clearly define what is known as consent.
  • For the first time, 100 women occupy seats in Congress. The NBA now has its first female assistant coach. Mo'ne Davis pitched a 70 mph fastball in the Little League World series.
  • The Disney movie "Frozen" has taken out the definition of "fairytale ending." Elsa and Anna dolls even sold out Barbie dolls in store.
#GirlsCan: Women Empowerment | COVERGIRL

Theory about Gender Roles

Ernestine Friedl, an anthropologist, has looked at the effects of a sex-based division of labor on the social status of women. Freidl found that individuals who are capable of selling goods and services to people outside of the family have a higher position in society. These people tend to be men. Women's contributions tend to center on the family. This can show the level of inequality between the sexes.

For support, she looked at hunting and gathering societies. In this society, which existed mainly 10,000 years ago, men hunted for the meat while the women gathered their food. The women provided more food but the difference was how it was distributed. The gathered food was typically kept and shared within the family whereas the meat that the men got was shared with the community. The men who provide the meat are then owed meat. This gives them higher power.

However, in other societies such as the Hadza and Washo, they had different ways of doing things. No one had more power than the other because the Washo shared their food with everyone equally and the Hadza were each capable of finding their own food.

In an Eskimo society, women have no power. The men hunt for food but the women's duties were all confined to the home.

Looking at today, women who don't work are financially dependent on their spouse. However, if the women does work, they may still be at a disadvantage. They may have more power at home but they are still on a lower level than men in society. A reason for this is because a woman's income typically goes torwards care for the family. Until they start investing their money in stocks or bonds, they will no gain power. They need to begin to invest their money torwards people outside of the family. Another reason is that women hold lower-status jobs. They need to start working in jobs such as politicians or managers. Until then, they'll have little power compared to men.

Theory about Sexism

Ambivalent sexism is distinguishing the differences between hostile sexism and benevolent sexism. Peter Glick and Susan Fisk studied this theory. Hostile sexism can be defined as prejudice or strong negative feelings torward at group of people, especially torwards women. However, even though hostile sexism exists, we mainly see what is known as benevolent sexism. Benevolent sexism can be described as evaluations of gender that may appear positive but are actually damaging to people and gender quality. Even though a person feels that they are showing positive feelings torwards women, these attitudes work to put women down and be sure that males are in complete dominance. A few examples of benevolent sexism can include: a woman being a "damsel in distress" and men come to take care of us and protect us, a woman should be put on a pedestal by her man, men should sacrifice themselves in order to provide for their woman, or a male tells his female coworker that she is cute; in general it seems like a nice compliment but it takes away from her being seen as a professional.
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What can i do to help?

Here are some ideas:

Break Gender Roles

  1. Starting at a young age, avoid teaching your child gender roles. If your boy wants a barbie doll, go ahead and buy it for him. If your girl wants to play in the mud, go ahead and let her. Avoid teaching them that some things are meant for boys and some are meant for girls.
  2. Teach your child to stand up for themselves when it comes to gender roles. Tell your boy it's okay to take a home ec class despite what others will think. Tell your girl to take shop class if that's what she is interested in. Once one person does something, it can start a chain reaction.
  3. Once you teach them these things, they'll grow up to teach their children. It starts with one person.

Fight Sexism

  1. Ignore it
  2. Confront them and stand up for yourself. Let them know that it's not okay.
  3. Don't buy into it. If someone makes a joke about "women in the kitchen," don't laugh. It's not funny.
  4. Be confident in who you are as a person.